With all the traveling done during the holidays, it’s expected that things will get left behind as you and millions of others fly from place to place. Books, driver’s licenses, passports, toys, jewelry and more get lost in the hustle and bustle of seasonal travel.
If you left something behind or lost something at an airport check-in counter, at a restaurant, in a shop, in the restroom, in the gate area or in another part of the airport, you should directly contact the airport you left from or the airline you flew on.
If you left something behind at a checkpoint, you should contact the TSA lost and found office with specifics about the item, including the date of the flight, the terminal that you departed from, a very detailed description of the item, and contact information for follow-up. If the item was turned into a TSA lost and found office, you can make an appointment to pick it up or arrange for the item to be shipped home or to your destination. However, shipping will come out of your pocket.
In order to ensure you don’t leave anything behind, and to help ensure that lost items will be returned, make sure you put your driver’s license back in your wallet and/or your passport back in a carry-on bag right after it’s checked. When you empty your pockets before going through the checkpoint screening, put those items directly into your carry-on bag so you’re less likely to leave something in the bottom of the bin. Don’t remove your jewelry unless it’s bulky or unless you know it’s going to make the scanner alarms go off. If you do remove it, again, try to put it directly into a carry-on bag rather than a bin to avoid leaving it behind.
ID tags are also a good idea for carry-on bags, so if you do wind up leaving something behind after all of our helpful tips, someone can maybe get it back to you. Speaking of ID, if you’re traveling with a laptop, tape a business card, return address label or handwritten name/address/contact information directly onto the laptop. TSA will contact the laptop’s owner to return it if contact information is affixed to the laptop.
Contact information for TSA’s lost and found offices in the Washington/Baltimore region are:
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA): 703-603-2516
Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD): 703-662-2234
Baltimore Washington International-Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI): 410-689-3620
If you’re curious about some of the weirdest things the TSA finds each year, check out their Top Finds of 2016 video.
— TSA (@TSA) December 16, 2016